Russia and Ukraine have ended the current round of talks on their gas trade with a stalemate, and both sides complaining the other wasn’t taking the talks seriously on reaching a settlement.
Ukraine owes Russia’s Gazprom several billion dollars in back payments, and while the deadline for the payment was extended earlier this month, the acrimony is once again on the rise.
At issue primarily is the question of price. Gazprom had initially sought to raise Ukraine’s price to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters, roughly in line with what they charge the rest of Europe.
Russia finally offered a price of $385, but that too was rejected by Ukraine, which was seeking $268.50, in line with the price Russia was giving the previous Ukrainian government.
The difference is Russia liked the previous government, and with both sides trading allegations recently, there seems to be little appetite for Gazprom to agree to that discount, and while Ukraine seems to be hoping to stall the issue until Gazprom gives in, the lack of realistic alternative suppliers for them will probably eventually force them to reach a settlement.